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Carefree

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, with an Irving Berlin set of four good songs, delve into psychoanalysis for their script [from an original story by Marian Ainslee and Guy Endore]. The result may inspire some to wonder if the psyching shouldn't have started in the studio. It's a disappointing story and leaves the viewer bewildered, with Astaire hypnotizing his co-star; Rogers walking to the altar, obsessed with the hypnotic suggestion that Astaire is a cad and Ralph Bellamy a nobleman, etc.

Cast:
Fred Astaire Ginger Rogers Ralph Bellamy Luella Gear Jack Carson Clarence Kolb

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, with an Irving Berlin set of four good songs, delve into psychoanalysis for their script [from an original story by Marian Ainslee and Guy Endore]. The result may inspire some to wonder if the psyching shouldn’t have started in the studio. It’s a disappointing story and leaves the viewer bewildered, with Astaire hypnotizing his co-star; Rogers walking to the altar, obsessed with the hypnotic suggestion that Astaire is a cad and Ralph Bellamy a nobleman, etc.

Still, in the dream sequence, as result of a sedative administered by Dr Astaire, the team does one of its best double numbers (‘Color Blind’ is the tune), wherein a slow-motion camera truly points up the poetry of their terpsichorean motion.

Astaire’s very first specialty, a golf-ball dance, gives it a fast gait, but pretty soon the story asserts its handicaps. Astaire, as part of a flirtation routine, gives out in swingo-highland fling via mouth-organ, thence into a dash of 52nd street hoot-mon, and the topper is that rhythmic routine, driving off a flock of golf balls from the green.

Rogers, while under hypnotic influence, reminds of some of the inhibitions that Paramount’s If I Had a Million so brightly presented. Here she shatters plate-glass windows, baits policemen, and even broadcasts that her sponsor (she’s a radio songstress) puts out the poorest product.

Carefree

Production: RKO. Director Mark Sandrich; Producer Pandro S. Berman; Screenplay Ernest Pagano, Allan Scott, Dudley Nichols, Hagar Wilde; Camera Robert de Grasse; Editor William Hamilton; Music Victor Baravalle (dir.); Art Director Van Nest Polglase, Carroll Clark

Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1938. Running time: 83 MIN.

With: Fred Astaire Ginger Rogers Ralph Bellamy Luella Gear Jack Carson Clarence Kolb

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